Wednesday, August 3, 2011

US National Championships

I am in California for the US National Championships.
Follow results at


Tuesday, August 2
I went for a sail today with Alex Heinzemann, Charlie Buckingham and Chris Barnard. We did some speed work and medium length racing. We had 5-10 knots, but with big waves which made the upwinds quite tricky when the wind was at the lighter end of the range. I am training again tomorrow. Racing starts Thursday.

Wednesday, August 3
Today was another gorgeous day, with 8-12 knots and big waves. I sailed with the same group as yesterday and did some more speed work and short course work. Racing begins tomorrow with the first race scheduled for 12:30.

Thursday, August 4
Today was the first day of racing. When we first got out, the fog was too thick and we were forced to wait for an hour before the first race got underway. I won the start at the pin end, but as soon as we started the fog rolled back in. I sailed by my watch since we could not see the weather mark. I found the weather mark, but as I approached the mark an RC boat told us the race had been abandoned and we were sent back down to the start line. On the restart I had another good start. I was in good position up the first beat, but made one small step to the left and missed out on some pressure that rolled in from the right, and I rounded the first weather mark around 20. I was quick on the last run and finished 11. In the second race I had a good start in the middle of the line and was able to tack and cross the pack above within a minute. I rounded the weather mark 5, passed a couple of boats throughout and finished 3. I am currently in 5th overall. Racing continues tomorrow with 4 races scheduled.
Weather: Sunny, 26 degrees, 5-8 knots.

Friday, August 5
Today racing got underway on schedule. Racing started out in about 5 knots and slowly built throughout the day to 6-10. In the first race I had a good start and positioned myself well up the first beat and rounded the weather mark second. I passed the boat ahead on the reach and extended on the first run and was able to hang on throughout to finish 1st. In the second race I fell back a bit on the first beat, but was able to come in late on the port layline and tacked under a big group of boats that had overstood the layline and roundedthe mark 4th, and stayed there for the rest of the race. In the third race I was 2nd to the weather mark and held throughout to finish 2. In the last race I had a good start in the middle but ended up with no pressure in the middle as both sides came in ahead. I rounded the weather mark around 18, and was able to make gains throughout to finish 9. After 6 races, I am in 4th overall, 9 points off the lead.

Saturday, August 6
Today we had 8-10 knots when we first got out and raced in 8-12 all day. In the first race I rounded around 5, dropped a couple on the first reach but had a good run to round the bottom 2nd, and held for the rest of the race. In the second race I had a great start and was punched out at the start and leading partway up the first beat. I was not aggressive enough in claiming a side and a few boats came in from either side at the top. I wasn't quick enough on the downwinds and finished 5. In the third race I had a decent start but fell out of the pressure a bit and rounded the weather mark around 12 and dropped a couple to round the bottom closer to 15. I made a good move at the last leeward mark and had a quick reach to finish 7. I was scored 9 so I will need to look into that tomorrow. In the last race I won the start at the pin and led the race from start to end. I am in 3rd overall, with two races remaining tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7
Today was the final day of racing, with two races scheduled. We had similar conditions to the previous days - 6 to 10 knots with swell. In the first race I had a solid start at the pin and got out nicely to round the weather mark 3rd. I passed one boat on the second beat and held onto 2nd. In the second race I lost my spot on the line just before go and was forced to bail. I started on port, but was able to quickly get into the front row again. I made a mistake towards the top of the beat and rounded the weather mark 8th. Alex Heinzemann rounded the weather mark 1st with a solid gap. With Heinzemann 4 points behind me going into the last race, I needed to catch up to 5th in order to stay ahead of him in the regatta. I passed two boats on the first run, and caught up to the boat ahead on the second beat, only to have us both passed by a boat who hit the corner on the beat. I was able to pass two boats again on the run, and rounded the leeward 5th. I passed one boat on the final beat to finish 4th, good enough to finish 3rd overall in the regatta. I will now do some training and coaching at home before CORK at the end of August.